I’m convinced that wives and mothers can’t lose weight. I think all the 24/7 nurturing we do just keeps us hungry all the time…
But, apparently guys can. Weight, I’ve come to find out, melts off dudes like a popsicle in July.
This epiphany started last November. We were facing down the front-end of the annual Holiday “Celebrate with Food Season,” but we kind’ve looked like we were already on the back-end. We decided to put the entire family on a Preemptive Holiday diet.
To keep everyone motivated, we assigned a cash prize for the individual family member who could lose the most weight by Christmas Day. My plan was to use my prize money to buy the tiny new jeans I would soon be requiring.
We weighed in.
Well, actually my husband and my son weighed in. I know it’s vain, but I spotted myself a couple of days to get to a more respectable “starting weight” before my first official weigh-in. (After all, we were writing the numbers down in a notebook where everyone could see them.)
That might sound like cheating, but it actually made it harder for me to win, as we were judging the contest by, “percentage of total body weight.” In fact, the entire contest was a bit of a sham because everyone knows weight drops off faster when you have more to lose.
And also if you happen to be a guy.
I knew I was starting out at a disadvantage in this contest, but I didn’t mind because I was a shoo-in to win. Men don’t know crap about dieting. Moved by pity for them, I mercifully resolved to give them verbal encouragement, support and diet tips along the way. And that’s just what I did.
Until the whole stinkin thing backfired on me, turning into one of those Brady Bunch episodes that ends with a critical life lesson. Remember the time Marcia befriended a “Plain Jane” girl at her school, gave her a makeover, loaned her some outfits, then taught her everything she knew about cheerleading?
The friend ends up not only making the cheer squad, but also beating Marcia out for her position as Cheer Captain. Then she turns on Marcia and becomes a cocky little brat. No good deed goes unpunished. Never ever ever.
That’s exactly what happened to me during our Biggest Loser Challenge. I taught them everything I’ve learned during a half-century of dieting – all the tricks of the trade. I started a Family Weight Loss Journal, whipped up protein smoothies, steamed vegetables and even texted inspirational quotes I found on Pinterest. In short, I acted as a free Personal Trainer/Life Coach.
The weight started dropping off.
Of my son and my husband. Not me.
In fact, I’m pretty sure all the energy I devoted to the effort rendered me even more ravenous than usual.
My daughter came home this past weekend. It’s been a while since she had seen her dad and brother.
“Tommy and Dad are both so skinny!” She exclaimed.
“What exactly are you trying to say?” I responded.
“That Tommy and Dad are both so skinny???”
I was super irritated. I stopped short of asking her if she was going to stand there and call me fat in my own kitchen.
Lest you think I’m just a sore loser I must hasten to assure you I’m proud of my menfolk. The two of them did so amazing with our challenge that it doesn’t even matter how I did. Wifery and motherhood transcend that level of self-interest. It’s more than enough for me that 2/3rds of us lost weight.
Nonetheless, the second my hubby stepped off the scales yesterday, I was ready for him. I shut down his daily gloat with a dirty look and some eye rolling before he even had a chance to start tossing numbers about.
He seemed a bit miffed.
“Why can’t you just be happy for ME?”
“I AM happy for you. I just don’t want to talk about it all night!” I quipped petulantly, as I took another bite from a miniature container of Haagen Dazs.”*
In the words of the great musician and 20th century philosopher, Meatloaf, “Baby we could talk all night, but that ain’t getting us nowhere…2 out of 3 ain’t bad.”
Speaking of meatloaf, we haven’t had it in awhile. I think I’ll make it for dinner tonight.
All this nurturing is making me hungry.
*A Ginger Snapped Fail-Proof Diet Tip – purchase only the miniature containers of Haagen Dazs. Way less calories.